Time After Time by Nicole Sobon is a good, and enjoyable time travel young adult fantasy romance read. The story has a good story line that is easy to read. The characters are good, and they have good chemistry. This story is an entertaining fantasy romance read. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Love Never Dies...
Seventeen-year-old Maya Reed wants nothing more than to live a normal life, but when you’re an anomaly that shouldn’t exist? A normal life isn’t feasible.
I died ten times. Ten times. And the only thing I remembered upon returning was his face. I could never recall his name, or who he was to me, but I knew he was a vital part of my past. He was the key to my future—a future I was desperate to retain.
But I’m not supposed to be here. I’m running out of time, and if I don’t find him soon, I fear what will come in my absence. Can love save her before it’s too late?
14+ due to adult situations
The sound of tires screeching on the road caused me to stop in my tracks and look up. Idling in the street in a forest-green sports car was the mysterious boy I’d been chasing. “Get in, Maya,” his voice was demanding, yet low. At first, I couldn’t move, having found myself captivated by his stare. But then I heard them coming. “Come on. They’re not too far behind.”
There was a rational part of my brain that questioned whether I should listen. Perhaps I could escape if I didn’t get in the car. Maybe it was only him they were after. If I left on my own, perhaps we would both be safe. After all, didn’t Marie say he was the enemy? Not that I could believe a single word uttered by her, of course.
“Maya,” he pleaded. “We have to go.”
My mind was a jumbled mess as I tried to consider what to do. Willingly jumping in the car without hesitation seemed silly. Yet, something pulled me to him. “Okay, okay.”
I dropped my hood and ran around the car to the passenger side. Flashbacks immediately flooded my mind of the accident. “Put your seat belt on,” he said before easing his foot off the brake and pressing down on the gas pedal. Having apparently sensed my weariness of being in the car, he placed his hand atop mine. “It’s going to be all right. I promise.”
“It’s best not to make promises you can’t keep,” I countered.
I didn’t want to say it, but the past had already proven we could never truly escape. At least, not together. Sooner or later, they always caught up to us. It was a hellish loop I found myself stuck in.
No matter how far I ran, no matter how much I tried to fight back. I always lost.
I lost him. I lost myself. I lost sense of who I was before. They successfully took everything from me, leaving me nothing more of a shell of the person I once was. And for what? I could never understand it. What did they get from repeatedly torturing me? And why did they want to erase my memories so badly? What was hiding in my past that they feared me knowing?
And what was so dangerous about him?
“Why don’t I know your name?” I finally asked. “I mean, I know you, but I can’t remember who you are. It’s like you’re a secret they don’t want me to remember.”
The boy smiled. “Well, you’re right about that.”
Not the answer I had hoped for, but at least I knew I wasn’t crazy. There was a reason they were keeping us apart. And somehow or another, he knew why. “Care to elaborate?”
He shook his head. “We have time, Maya.”
“Do we, though?” I quickly learned time wasn’t necessarily guaranteed. Every time I felt myself creating a safe space in the world, it was almost immediately taken away. A cruel joke I’d relived far too many times. “It feels as though time is never on my side these days.”
“You have to remember, no matter what they do, we’ll always find each other.” He tightened his hold on my hand, his other placed firmly on the steering wheel. “We’ve been through this before, and we’ll be through this again, but I’ll always find you. No matter what. I’ll always find my way back to you.”
I allowed myself to relax as he tightened his grasp on my hand. It was hard to explain, but I felt as though I was exactly where I belonged. The amount of time I would get with him remained to be seen, but I would cherish what moments we had while I could.
“Who is after us?” I noticed the headlights as they rounded the corner. It was a dark black van with two white men seated up front. “And why are they so determined to keep us apart?”
The boy shook his head. “It amazes me how well the wipe works every time.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Maya, do you remember anything regarding Project Reawakening?” he asked.
“No, should I?” Knowing there was a past I couldn’t recall was absolutely terrifying. It was as if I had become a ghost in a world which hadn’t even realized I still existed.
“We were the lucky test subjects for Project Reawakening,” he explained. “Consider this attempt number eleven.”
Before I could speak, the black van rammed into the back of the car, sending us swerving directly into a light pole. The glass on the windshield shattered upon impact and the entire front end of the car folded up like some sort of accordion. The boy’s limp body lay slumped over in the seat with the airbag fully deployed. Blood seeped out from his mouth.
“No.” The word came out as merely a whisper. “Please don’t leave me. Not again.”
I felt my pulse weakening. I wanted to hang on. I needed to hang on. But there was no fight left. My eyelids grew heavy and all I wanted to do was lay my head back and sleep. I just need to rest my eyes, I told myself.
But there was no coming back from this.
Someone smashed open my window. I tried to cry out for help. A sheer act of desperation. Unfortunately, they weren’t there to help. They were there to reclaim their property—my body. Our bodies.
“Subjects acquired,” a male voice said. “Heading back to headquarters now.”